Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Massimo Moratti had the builders in again over the summer, after Leonardo, the man he thought would be the prime architect in rebuilding the crumbling house of Inter, decamped to Paris.
By the time the Inter president had failed to persuade Fabio Capello, André Villas-Boas and Marcelo Bielsa that it was a job worth taking, Moratti was willing to hire anybody prepared to provide a low estimate for a bit of a rushed job. Enter former Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini.
Gasperini even looks a bit like the local cowboy builder, and although he certainly has the materials at his disposal, he sadly hasn’t a clue how to fit them together.
So, not for the first time, we're left looking at a rather disjoined Inter side. They followed their opening day defeat to Palermo and embarrassing Champions League performance against Trabzonspor with a pretty shapeless draw against AS Roma - themselves a work in progress, though Luis Enrique at least seems to have laid some foundations.
The sight of Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso and Lucio pointing in all directions like over-excited traffic police was clear indication that no one was taking their orders from the man on the bench.
Gasperini’s giant head, topped by a massive hatch of graying hair, popped out of the dug-out intermittently just to make sure he had eleven souls on the pitch or to berate Wesley Sneijder for daring to play inside the opposition half.
By the time he finally released the little Dutch wiz from his cleaning-up duties, there was nobody for him to link up with upfront as Diego Forlan had been replaced by Sulley Muntari - and not a proven scorer or at least someone to get on the end of chances, such as Giampaolo Pazzini.
It was all very confusing. It was hard to tell whether Gasperini was trying to construct a house, a garden shed or a garage
His back three are struggling in the absense of a midfield that plays with pace and guile; the latter sorely missing along the flanks where Joel Obi and Yuto Nagatomo can run and run, but never produce a decent cross – and then the less said about Jonathan the better. The Brazilian is 25 but possesses the gait of a man closer to 55 and makes even the 38-year-old Zanetti look spritely.
Yet, much like the days of Rafa Benitez, it is not so much the individuals that are the problem, rather the negativity towards, and lack of faith in the new system.
No one wants to play for Gasperini and no one wants to play in his 3-4-3 formation. We know this because Zanetti and Cambiasso have said that the players are behind the coach and happy to follow his tactics…
It is the kiss of death when the two Argentines start talking about you (unless you happen to be Jose Mourinho) and it may be a last Gasp this evening when Inter make the trip up the road from Milan to newly-promoted Novara and their artificial pitch.
The first midweek round couldn’t come soon enough for Napoli and Juventus, who along with Udinese and Cagliari hold 100 per cent records so far.
While Juve have a very winnable home game against Bologna, Napoli must be careful they do not suffer a San Gennaro hangover after sweeping an under-strength AC Milan away on Sunday.
It was a day to celebrate the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius, on Monday, but Walter Mazzarri’s men had little time to sit back and enjoy the party – not with a match at Chievo tomorrow evening.
The Bentegodi Stadium in Verona was the venue for a humbling 2-0 defeat for Napoli last season, but if the coach’s analysis of the win over Milan is anything to go by then the Azzurri are taking nothing for granted.
“I didn’t like our approach against Milan,” claimed Mazzarri. “We were too timid and afraid and I don’t want to see that anymore.”
Now, there is a man you would put your house on having a successful season.
Things are a bit mental at Inter at the moment. Firing Gasperini won't help though, unless there is someone better to take over. And who is there? He'll be gone if they lose to CSKA and don't improve in the league, I think. Jonathan was poor alright, he looked decent at times, then like a sunday pub player seconds later. And Muntari coming on was laughable. That squad needs a serious overhaul over the next few years, but where will the money come from?
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